The following announcement was forwarded by the IAJGS Public Records Access Email Alert:
The (UK) National Archives announced they are opening their prisoner of war (WW II) archives. These documents were transferred to the National Archives in December 2014. There are approximately 190,000 records of persons captured in German-occupied territory during World War II, primarily Allied service men (including Canadians, South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders, British and Allied civilians and some nurses. There are also cards for American, Norwegian, Chinese, Arab and Cypriot origins.
The new collection (WO 416) also includes several thousand records of deceased allied airmen whose bodies were found near their downed aircrafts. While these airmen were never prisoners of war, these records act as records of death.
The records are cards—some persons have up to 15 cards, but most have only one or two. It is not catalogued by name of individual for privacy reasons as some may still be living. The National Archives has started to catalogue the entire series and they have opened the records for those who were born more than 100 years ago or if they have proof of death.
To browse the collection go to:
For those records that have not yet been digitized you can order the records in advance for when you visit the Kew ( the National Archives) or you can request a quotation for a copy to be sent to you. The price will vary depending on the amount of copying. When you click on the name of the person you are researching , click on details. There you will get a transcription of information they have plus the option to order in advance or request a copy.
Not all service personnel have cards as they were removed from the collection to be used as evidence to support claims by Prisoners of War after World War II. These cards, for the most part, were not returned but may form part of the personnel’s service record which may be held by Veteran’s agency See: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records